Sanitary napkins: without them men would go on with their lives as we have for millennia. I say this simply because it’s true. Men don’t need them other than to prove our manhood to our wife by going to the store at 3:00 AM on a cold December day two weeks before Christmas in 1984. Not that I have ever personally had to do that, of course. I’m merely speculating here, not writing about actual events. Let’s continue, shall we?
I guess I don’t understand why there are so many types. Not brands, I understand the concept of brands competing in a free market system. I don’t understand why there are so many types of one brand.
Earlier today I was given the simple task to go to the grocery store to buy a few things. This task is normally reserved for both my wife and I. We normally do it on Saturday morning or she will do it herself on Friday night. For whatever reason this weekend it was up to me. It’s as if the universe depended on me to complete this task, I and I alone could do it. At first I was unsure of being able to do it right, but as I reached the store I knew all the training over the decades would simply take over. Similar to when I went through jungle training in the military, and I was ready to feast on bugs should the need arise. Since I was going solo on this mission, I decided to wear my BDUs. Unfortunately over the years I had added a few pounds to my once fit physic and and nothing fit anymore. Jeans and long sleeve t-shirt for me. Ironically the long sleeve t-shirt I wore was from a 100 mile bike ride I rode a couple of years ago.
I reached the store with list in hand and I began to find each item one by one. One gallon of milk: check; one gallon of OJ: check; Cottage cheese: check. I got almost everything on the list when I reached the bread isle. I got the whole wheat bagels but I could not find the right kind of bread. The list clearly states I need to get 7 grain bread, but I could not find the right number. All of a sudden the only thing I could think of was a Cleric saying this to me: “And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou find the Holy 7 Grain Bread on the List. Then thou shall find the 7 Grain Bread on the Bread Isle. And the number shall be Seven, no more, no less. Seven shall be the number of Grain, and the number of grain shall be Seven. Eight shall thou not work, neither count thou six, excepting that thou then proceed to Seven. Nine is right out.'” I was puzzled. I searched for a store employee but could not find one. I thought of calling my wife to tell her I failed, but I had learned in the military not to give up. My drill sergeant’s voice resonated in my head, “Keep going Zepeda. Give it all you’ve got and don’t stop until you’re completely exhausted, and then find the strength to go further.” Sergeant’s voice worked, I continued to look and found 15 grain bread. I figured if 7 grains are good enough, then 15 grains would be 214.3% better. How many of you are checking my math?
Everything on my list was completely checked off except for sanitary napkins. I hurried to The Isle Of Women to seek for this elusive object. When I reached the isle I was dumbfounded. I had never seen so many products for one purpose. The isle was completely full on both sides from the bottom shelf to the top shelf with colored packages covering all colors of the spectrum of visible light. Some packages seemed to be using infrared and ultraviolet light to give it the extra edge to catch the consumer’s eye. Birds use this tactic to attract mates in the wild. What’s good for the geese is good for the consumer. I read what my wife wrote on the list. She was very clear of the product she wanted and she wrote exactly what should be written on the package. I walked all the way to the other end of the isle, looking at all the shelves. I walked back to where I had begun and was still empty handed. A woman walked past me in the isle, looked at a few products and within seconds she found what she was looking for. I asked for some advice on what to buy but she simply said this: “What is written on the list? Buy ONLY what is written on the list.” Funny how she was able to accentuate by using caps in spoken words. She looked at my list and pointed me in the right direction.
I had found it and at last my list was finely complete. Angels sang as I strutted toward the check out line. The young lady at the check out smiled at me because she knew I am a man who can complete tasks. She will tell her children and grandchildren of the day she met a man who checked off everything on his list. Her children and grandchildren will listen in awe as the words hang in the air. Books will be written about this, radio and talk shows for the next few months will talk of this moment. Men will turn to look at me with envy in their eyes. I will walk with my head held high, knowing all of this will be because of me.
I reached our humble home, walked in and kissed my wife, sat on the sofa and changed channel on the TV because I deserve it. My wife walked out to the car only to find it empty. In all of my daydreaming I managed to have forgotten the groceries in the cart at the store.
It’s going to be another sleepless night in the guest room.